Collaborative Divorce Is Increasingly Popular For Many Reasons
Collaborative divorce is a method of alternative dispute resolution in family law. It is best described as a method of practicing law in which the lawyers for both sides (parties) agree to assist the clients to resolve conflicts by employing cooperative techniques rather than adversarial strategies and litigation. All of the people involved commit themselves to achieving a negotiated outcome. It is agreed that no litigation will be commenced during the negotiations.
Often called a “wholistic” approach to divorce, it is a solution oriented approach for clients determined to prevent permanent damage to relationships, even difficult relationships. It is characterized by dignity and fairness, cooperation and professionalism, while the parties find solutions for divorce issues such as child custody and child support, property division and spousal maintenance and alimony.
How Collaborative Divorce Works
Each spouse or partner hires a lawyer trained in collaborative law and they proceed through four way meetings to identify problems, explore options and negotiate solutions. If necessary, the clients and lawyers work with trained professionals in other disciplines, such as
- Financial specialists acting as neutrals to assist in gathering and evaluating the family’s financial info. Each client is encouraged to assist in financial disclosure and documentation of income, expenses, assets and debts. The Financial specialist then helps the clients understand their family’s financial picture which then assists each partner in arriving at solutions to achieve the financial settlement he or she intends;
- Divorce coaches who are mental health professionals trained to manage the variety of emotional issues that arise during a divorce and who can help the clients with the emotions that arise while resolving some of the tough issues. It is not therapy, it is not about blame, fault or the past. Coaches assist clients in clarifying their thoughts, needs and concerns in order to communicate more effectively. Coaches assist clients to realize their personal strengths in order to overcome obstacles that might be encountered during the process. Coaches provide the necessary support, motivation and encouragement for clients to go through the process and become empowered to plan for a positive future.
- Child specialists have specific education and training in the expected behaviors and challenges in the development of a child. This specialist can help the parents devise a parenting plan for their family and can help the parents address the emotional and practical needs of the family and children as they relate to the divorce process.
Divorce Does Not Have To Be Stressful Or Expensive
The heart of collaborative practice is to offer the clients the support, protection and guidance of their own lawyers without the necessity or threat of court. Each client works with a lawyer to negotiate for what matters most to them. The clients with their lawyers together evaluate options and make decisions for the long-term.
The divorce process does not have to be a miserable experience. Contact Iacono Law Office by calling 914-961-0565 or 845-225-0824 or email the office to schedule a consultation. Located in Bronxville and Carmel, Attorney Joan Iacono serves Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and Orange Counties of New York.
“Discourage litigation, point out to your neighbor how the nominal winner is often the real loser — in fees, expense and waste of time.”
Abraham Lincoln, 1850